Chanceville, also known as Ward's Store, was five miles northwest of Maydelle in west central Cherokee County. It was established in 1886 by James and Emma Ward, who opened a general merchandise store known as Ward's Store. After James Ward's death in 1914, his son Francis Ward took over the business and expanded it, eventually adding a barbershop, shoe repair shop, clothes-pressing booth, and photo shop. Later, he opened several other businesses, including a gristmill, a woodworking shop, a blacksmith shop, a service station, a snack bar, and an icehouse. After World War I and World War II Ward also sold surplus military goods from his huge complex. The store became known as Chanceville, reportedly because locals would say if they could not find a particular item, there was a good chance Ward would have it. For many years the store complex served as the community center for area farms. Local residents often spent hours there pitching horseshoes or playing dominos or checkers. In later years Ward built a pool that served as the community swimming and baptizing pool. After Ward died in 1955, his store closed, and eventually the community lost its distinct identity. In the early 1990s only the empty store building and a few scattered houses remained in the area.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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  • (Ward's Store)

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